On Wednesday, the major stock indexes experienced a decline after a Fed meeting but recovered to secure gains on Thursday and Friday. The S&P 500, the Dow, and the NASDAQ all recorded increases of more than 1% overall. This marked the 13th positive outcome for the S&P 500 out of the past 14 weeks.

Despite elevated interest rates, the U.S. labor market exhibited resilience, with January witnessing a job gain of 353,000—roughly double the number anticipated by most economists. Moreover, revisions upward for the previous two months added a total of 126,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate held steady at 3.7%.

The Fed opted to maintain unchanged interest rates at the highest level in over two decades. Chair Jerome Powell suggested that a rate cut in March is “probably not the most likely case” but indicated that a cut might be considered in 2024, contingent on increased confidence in the ongoing easing of inflationary pressures.

For January, the S&P 500 achieved its third consecutive monthly gain, accumulating a total increase of 15.5% over that period. The index rose 1.6% overall last month, surpassing its record closing level six times, notably crossing the 4,800-point mark on January 19 and reaching 4,900 ten days later.

The bond market experienced volatility late in the week as the yield of the 10-year U.S. Treasury bond dropped to 3.82% on Thursday before rebounding above the 4.00% threshold the following day. Friday’s surge to a closing yield of 4.03% was influenced by a stronger-than-expected monthly jobs report, fostering expectations of a postponed interest-rate cut.

The eurozone’s economy concluded 2023 with stagnant growth, posting a 0.0% fourth-quarter GDP figure after a slight contraction in the previous quarter. The last notable growth for the continent was recorded in the third quarter of 2022, with an annual growth rate of 0.5%.

Oil prices experienced a decline of over 7% for the week, erasing most of the year-to-date gain. On Friday, U.S. crude was trading at approximately $72 per barrel, down from a recent high of over $90 in September.

Small-cap stocks deviated from the predominantly positive trend in the U.S. stock market for the week, with a small-cap benchmark falling 0.8%. This outcome widened the gap between small-caps and their large-cap counterparts on a year-to-date basis, continuing the lag observed throughout 2023.

Major U.S. Economic Reports

S&P Case-Shiller home price index (20 cities)Nov.5.4%4.9%
Job openingsDec.9.0 million8.9 million
Consumer confidenceJan.114.8108.0
ADP employmentJan.107,000158,000
Employment cost indexQ40.9%1.1%
Chicago Business Barometer (PMI)Jan.4647.2
Initial jobless claimsJan. 27224,000215,000
U.S. productivityQ43.3%4.9%
S&P U.S. manufacturing PMI (final)Jan.50.750.3
ISM manufacturingJan.49.1%47.4%
Construction spendingDec.0.9%0.9%
U.S. jobs reportJan.353,000333,000
U.S. unemployment rateJan.3.7%3.7%
U.S. hourly wagesJan.0.6%0.4%
Hourly wages year over year4.5%4.3%
Factory ordersDec.0.2%2.6%
Consumer sentiment (final)Jan.7978.8
U.S. auto salesJan.15.0 million16.1 million

Closing Prices for the Week

Dow Jones Industrials Average38,654.42
Nasdaq Composite15,628.95
S&P 500 Index4,958.61
CBOE Volatility Index13.85
S&P GSCI540.00
U.S. Dollar Index103.922
10-Year T-Note (Mar ’24)111-210
Crude Oil WTI (Mar ’24)72.28
Natural Gas (Mar ’24)2.079
Gold (Apr ’24)2,053.7
Silver (Mar ’24)22.796
Corn (Mar ’24)442-6
Wheat (Mar ’24)599-6
Soybean (Mar ’24)1188-4
Coffee (May ’24)189.00
Sugar #11 (Mar ’24)23.89

Trading futures and forex involves significant risk of loss and is not suitable for everyone.

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